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A real ground-breaking at Summit-John park + p-patch — Meanwhile, Parks to announce cuts next week

Ceremonies are one thing. When the machinery comes out and the asphalt goes up, now that’s a groundbreaking. Thanks to MRK for the photo of the start of the real work this week to create a new park and p-patch at Summit and John. Here’s one of our overviews on the project. Parks has said the project could be completed as early as September.

Meanwhile, the city department is also preparing plans for cuts to its services as budget woes force Seattle government to tighten its belt. In a statement on its Web site, Parks has said that its services “may be affected by decisions on midyear 2010 budget reductions that are necessary because of a revenue shortfall that affects all City departments. We expect to know these decisions around June 1, 2010, and will immediately make changes to this page, if any are necessary, that reflect impacts on summer programs.”

At the end of April, Parks announced that 24 of its 27 wading pools could face closure this summer including the Cal Anderson pool. The Volunteer Park wading area is reportedly not being considered for cutbacks. Also on the most recent possible cut list — the Parks-run community centers like Miller.

The April announcements match up with what an anonymous employee with knowledge of the Parks budget situation told CHS about the cuts. “Overall, I’ve been told in meetings that everything, including pools, community centers and environmental centers in all parks and open spaces will receive dramatically less attention,” said the employee. “Parks facilities and [public] open spaces will be considered for cuts and reductions in service. This is unprecedented, to my knowledge.” We also reported on the concerns from the group Friends of the Conservatory that says it fears the Volunteer Park landmark might face the budget axe as it approaches its 100-year anniversary in 2012. Meanwhile, the department is able to pursue new properties for acquisition as past park levies provide the necessary capital for real estate deals but not for operations. We should know about the future of the Conservatory and the rest of Capitol Hill’s park environments next week.

Some other budget-related cutbacks will be more immediate. Parks employees will be on furlough on days sandwiching the upcoming weekend. You may remember some of the problems from the previous furlough days earlier this month. Parks has said those same problems with trash won’t happen again but they’re also asking people to “pack it out.” We’ll have more on the situation later this week.

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4 thoughts on “A real ground-breaking at Summit-John park + p-patch — Meanwhile, Parks to announce cuts next week

  1. I don’t understand the economics of the parks department, but every groundbreaking or announcement about a “pocket park” feels like a slap in the face to the existing, community-serving, cash-strapped parks that are facing crippling cutbacks.

    It just seems kind of crazy that the structure of the funding system levies money for acquisitions for properties for a department that can’t provide services to its existing portfolio.

  2. Two years ago, I lived directly across the street from this lot. At that time, I signed up to participate in the pumpkin patch.

    It took two years… TWO YEARS… TWO YEARS!!!! for this lot to go from parking lot to the very initial steps of a pumpkin patch. This is nothing to be proud of. Local governments use exactly this method to create the illusion of democracy and “having a voice”, something you liberals get moist over, when in practice, you’re still being led by the nose.

    Some are satisfied with simple things because simple things are all one is allowed.

  3. Seriously?,

    Thanks for your interest in exploiting the opportunity to enjoy the fruits of our communities pooled resources. Though the slow moving machinery of the collective will is not always able to please everyone and as soon as they might desire, it is my hope that you and your children and your children’s children will eat from our current shared sacrifice.

    In an effort to maximize your sense of empowerment and entitlement, I encourage you to satisfy your curiosity about the inner-workings of our society’s local government by investigating for yourself what it is that has taken so long in your opinion to move from conceiving this public asset and initiating it’s construction. Unless of course, you too, are satisfied with the “simple” explanation provided by this article.

    Finally, thanks for contributing your voice, vote and tax dollars to our community!